A generation of adults thought that the introduction of National Service was the `making’ of many young people. Sergeant Majors were charged with transforming young adults. The methods that were adopted are no longer acceptable – largely because of social changes.
So when an Eleven Plus child becomes, for a brief moment in time, rebellious, sullen or apathetic, it is likely that parents have to confront the situation in a thoughtful and practical manner.
It is extremely unlikely that a bright Eleven Plus child will be hostile and threatening for longer than a few seconds. Most Eleven Plus children will be able to face the pressures of examination preparation with considerable equanimity and fortitude.
When a parent sees manifestations of worrying changes in their child’s behaviour they need to be very aware of the need for thoughtful monitoring of the situation. Trying to establish a dialogue may be difficult at the time – but listening without commenting may help to speed the process of communication.
If there are problems at school or with factors other than Eleven Plus preparation, then the child needs to be treated with respect and dignity. Challenging behaviour, however, still needs to be confronted.
The bright Eleven Plus child may also want you to be able to accept a set of changing circumstances without feeling that judgement is being passed.